SALALAH – Dhofar Municipality’s move to construct a footbridge is a huge relief for the residents of Al Wadi, Salalah Al Garbiya and its adjoining areas in New Salalah on the Southern side of Al Robat Street as also for the commuters of Centerpoint, Salalah Gardens Mall and Residency, Court Complex, and Hamdan Residency on the northern side of the Street.
The bridge, work on which is going on a fast pace, is located centrally between the residential and commercial buildings near the Court Complex. Due to Salalah City’s expansion, many residential and commercial buildings came up in these areas. It is difficult really for the people living and working in these areas to cross the road for daily needs.
Hythem Amer Ahmed Shanfari, In-Charge of Road and Lighting Department at Dhofar Municipality, called this bridge an important structure from commuters’ point of view and said that the bridge would be “a full steel structure, 65 metres long and 2.4 metres wide from inside, and fitted with railings on both the sides.”
“Apart from normal stairs, the pedestrian footbridge would have elevators on both sides and covered from the top. We encourage normal healthy people to use stairs but elevator option was necessary for elderly and for those who cannot use stairs due to some physical constraints,” he said.
Care has also been taken to make the bridge aesthetically correct, as the Municipality officials took proper account of its design, which according to Eng Hythem, is modern and good looking.
Daily commuters hugely endorsed the move. Local resident Mohammed who commutes daily to the mall located opposite side of the road for his work, explained the current situation when there is no footbridge, as very difficult.
“For pedestrians the only righteous option is to cover a distance of one kilometre up to the New Salalah trafiic signal, take a U turn and walk another one kilometre to reach residences or offices located on both sides of the road. The whole exercise is to cover less than 100 metres of distance. Pedestrians thus take a short cut of crossing the road when there is less pressure of vehicles.”
Taking a short cut for crossing the road is too scary due to high-speed vehicles plying on the road. The particular point of late has gained notoriety due to occurrence of many accidents just in the process of saving some passerby or the other.
“In the absence of a pedestrian footbridge, some people cross the road, which is very risky and accidents are happening time and again on this location,” said a local resident endorsing the idea.
Eng Hythem expressed satisfaction over work progress of the bridge, which started in February and likely to be functional in a month’s time.